Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Pennington Bend


Pennington Bend and the Briley Parkway Bridge in the mid-1960's. Photo from Metro Nashville Archives.

Pennington Bend is probably most known today for the Opry Mills Shopping Center. From 1972 until 1997 it was home to the Opryland Amusement Park. Before Opryland came to the bend, it was mostly farmland. From the mid-1940's until 1990, Rudy's Farm Sausage Company operated in the bend. It was a community where everyone knew each other.

McSpadden's Bend. Foster's 1871 map of Davidson County


Some of the first landowners were Lardner Clark, James Mulherrin, John Graves, and Thomas Craighead.  Thomas McSpadden was an early resident, buying land there in 1797. The early deeds referred to the property as being in "as the first large bend above Nashville." The area came to be known as McSpadden's Bend.


In 1814, Graves Pennington came to the bend. He purchased his first tract of land from Thomas McSpadden. Over the next 50 years, the Pennington family bought many tracts of land and eventually had a large farm there. Sometime after 1880, the area began to be called Pennington's Bend.  It is called by that name today. 

Pennington Bend, 1907
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Following is the obituary for John W. Pennington, son of Graves Pennington. He died in McSpadden's Bend. 

The Tennessean, August 26, 1877





Saturday, July 21, 2018

Nashville Businesses

This is a listing of Nashville area businesses (excluding restaurants) that were around in 1950 or before and are still in operation in Nashville/Davidson County. If the business has a website, click the company name to go to the site. If there is an online history, the link will be provided. If there is no history, I will do some research and add it as time permits. Many were suggested to me by facebook readers. I have a lot more businesses to include and will do so in a later post. The businesses are not in any particular order. Just scroll through to read.

Floral Companies.

Emma’s Flowers. Emma Schneider was employed by Harrison Bros. Florist in Nashville in 1933 as a bookkeeper. During her years at Harrison Bros., Emma was a member of several on groups. These included the Retail Credit Association and the Business and Professional Women's Club. When these group held meetings, Emma was often in charge of decorations and flowers.  In May of 1940, Emma opened her own flower shop at 6th and Union on the ground floor of the Hermitage Hotel. When Emma died in December of 1947, Nashville businessman, J. H. Tidman, purchased Emma's Flowers and moved the business to 2410 West End.  Mr. Tidman passed away in 1987, and the operation of the flower shop was continued by his son, J. H. Tidman Jr.  Rebecca Tidman, granddaughter of Tidman, Sr. eventually took over management of the shop. Emma's is still in business today at 2410 West End. 


Emmas Flower Shop, Tennessean, May 11, 1940.
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Joy's Flowers. The Joy family came to Nashville in 1877. Thomas Joy leased five acres of land and planted a garden. He sold his flowers at the Nashville Market House on the public square. It was in 1882, that Thomas S. Joy and Thomas C. Joy bought land on what is now Lischey Avenue. The Joy family lived on this property and grew their business here. They acquired additional land as the company expanded. The company, though no longer owned by the Joy family, has continued in business in Nashville.  Click for a more complete history of Joy's Flowers. 

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Geny's Flowers and Bridal Geny's may be the oldest floral company to survive. Brothers Leon and John B. Geny came to the U.S. from France and settled in Nashville. John B. Geny was married in Nashville in 1869 and Leon was married here in 1877. The Geny brothers were listed as gardeners and were members of the Tennessee Horticulture Association in the late 1860's. At semi-annual fairs, the Geny's exhibited both vegetables and flowers. John B. Geny was first listed in a city directory in 1874 as a florist. For a few years, the brothers had stalls in the market house on the public square where they sold vegetables and flowers. John B. died in 1887 and Leon in 1878. Their widows continued selling at the market house. Leon has only been married a few months when he died and had no children. By the time of John B. death, his sons were old enough to help their mother in her business. Geny's is still in business in Nashville and is operated by John Geny. 
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Hody's Florist   Flowers by Louis Hody was opened for business in 1950 by Robbie Hody. Louis Hody was a nurseryman for Joy Flowers and for Harrison Bros. Florist. The business was located on West Hamilton Road. In 1978, John Ingram became a co-owner. The business is now owned by Bill Hitt who was selected by Mrs. Hody and John Ingram to take over the business. Click for a more complete history of Hody's Florist.  
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Other businesses in operation 1950 or before and are still in operation in Nashville/Davidson County.

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Hosse & Hosse Lock and Safe Company.  Click here to read a history of Hosse & Hosse 

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Warren Paint & Color Co.  The Warren Paint and Color Company was incorporated in 1909 by Joseph M. Warren, Sr. and Joseph M. Warren, Jr.  Joseph Sr. had previously been associated with Warren Bros. in partnership with his brother Jesse Warren. The company operated a large factory in Nashville.  In 1925 Warren Paint could manufacture 6500 gallons of paint and 1,100 gallons of varnish a day. The family sold the business in 1965. Today it is owned by the Smythe family and Jeff Smythe is president.

Warren Paint and Color Company. Tennessean, June 7, 1925
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Warren Bros. Sash & Door started as a  business in 1853. Brothers and partners Jesse Warren and Joseph M. Warren were the founders.   Click here for a history of Warren Bros. Sash and Door.

Dury's. The Dury name has been known in Nashville since about 1850. George Dury came from Bavaria and settled in Nashville about 1850. He taught art at the Nashville Female Academy and was well known as a landscape and portrait painter. His son opened the well known Dury's Photographic Supply and Camera stores in Nashville in 1882. The Dury family sold the business in 1968 to Mr. Warren T. York, who retained the historic business name. Click here for more history of Dury's.
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Duke Signs - The Sign Shop was opened in 1917 by Charlie Black. Elmer Duke went to work for Mr. Black around 1918 and in 1923 Duke purchased the business. The shop is located today at 932 So. Douglas Ave. David Duke, a grandson of Elmer, operates the business today.

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Cummings Signs was opened in Nashville in 1943 by founder Thomas L. Cummings, Jr. The company is still located in Nashville, as well as Knoxville, Dothan Alabama and Colton California. Click here for more history of Cummings Signs. 

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Davis Cabinet Company. This furniture maker, dating back to 1929,  is known in Nashville and around the country for creating quality and beautiful wood furniture. Click to read about the history Davis Cabinet Company.


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Purity Dairies products have been a favorite for Nashvillians for over 90 years. Now owned by Dean Foods the company is still headquartered in Nashville.  Click to read about the history of Purity Dairies.

Purity Milk Truck, from the company website.

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Standard Candy Company is best known for Goo Goo Clusters. King Leo stick candy is another well-loved product. From 1901 through 2017 Standard Candy has been headquartered in Nashville. Known today as the Standard Functional Foods Group the company is owned by the Spradley family. Click here for a great history Standard Candy Company.


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Ambrose Printing Company traces its roots to 1865 in Nashville.  In 2017 the company is still owned by the Ambrose family. Click here to read a brief history of Ambrose Printing. 


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Methodist Publishing House. In 1854 Nashville was chosen as the site to build a new publishing house for the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Methodist Publishing has had a presence in Nashville since it opened in 1855.  Click here to see photos and read a history of the Methodist Publishing House.

Methodist Publishing House, 1957.

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Mack Pest Control. C.C. (Mack) McKelvey started his business in 1944. The company was incorporated in 1952. Click here to read a history of Mack Pest Control. 


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Lipman Brothers is the oldest wholesale liquor distributor in Tennessee. Brothers Harry and Meyer Lipman started the business at 206  2nd Ave. South, in 1939. Click to read a history of Lipman Brothers. 


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Vietti Foods. The company's website indicates that Vietti chili started out in Nashville in 1898. The research did not place the Vietti family in Nashville until about 1935.  In 1936, Vietti Foods was incorporated in Nashville. Peter C. Vietti headed up the company, which was formed to can food, which included chili. In 2017, Vietti Foods had a canning plant on Southgate Ave. in Nashville.


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George P. Howell, realtor, and auctioneer in Madison, Tennessee, went into business under his own name in 1945. In 1946, he added, "And Son." The son was William "Billy" Hugh Howell. Mr. Howell died in September of 1958 and his son Billy took over operation of the company. Billy brought his sons Hugh and Gwynn into the company, in the 1970's.

George P. Howell and Sons Realty. Image from Google, 2011.

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Draper Jewelry has been in Nashville since 1944. In that year Robert Draper became a partner in Reale Jewelers, located on Church Street in downtown Nashville. Click here to read more about Draper Jewelry. 

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The Cedar Place. This company started in 1944 with a different purpose. It was the V. A. Tayntor Company in the beginning. By 1952, Mr. Tayntor was offering for sale, chests, picnic tables, lawn chairs and mailbox stands all built of cedar wood. Click here to read the history of The Cedar Place.

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Nashville Trunk and Bag has a long history in Nashville. Charles Weakley opened the business in 1908, under the name Nashville Trunk and Manufacturing Company. He did very well until the Great Depression. In 1932, Mr. Weakley filed for bankruptcy. Emanuel "Manny" Feldman bought the company from bankruptcy court for 500, according to his grandson, Ted. In 1934, the Feldman family chartered a company under the same name, Nashville Trunk and Manufacturing Company. Financially backed by Emanuel Feldman, the incorporators were Daisy Feldman wife of Emanuel, Buford Feldman son of Emanuel, and Roselind Feldman wife of Buford. The company was called Nashville Trunk and Bag and Daisy was listed as President. Eventually, Buford and his brother Albert Feldman headed the company. In 1956, Buford left the company to start his own business. Albert continued to operate Nashville Trunk and Bag. Albert died in 1979 and his son Tim took over.  Tim was killed just two years later in a car accident. In 1981 Ted Feldman, twin brother of Tim became president of the company.  Ted stayed with the business until 1992, when he sold to Robert Scruggs and Robert Whisenant. In 2017 Nashville Trunk and Bag are still operating on a smaller scale. The store is located in Green Hills and is owned by Susan Cavender. Ms. Cavender worked for the Feldman family. She continued with the business after it was sold to Scruggs and Whisenant. About ten years ago Ms. Cavender purchased the company from the owners and operates the remaining location in Green Hills.
 

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